Argentina repeats as International Softball Federation Junior Men’s World Champions

Written by Bob on July 20th, 2014

argentina Argentina won its second consecutive Gold Medal in the International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Men’s World Championship by defeating New Zealand, 9-0, Sunday at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Canada.

WHITEHORSE, YUKON, CA – Argentina was slowed down but they couldn’t be stopped.

After losing Saturday to New Zealand, 3-1, in the semi-finals of the playoffs, Argentina came roaring back with a vengeance on Sunday.

And New Zealand felt the brunt of it.

Argentina put two runs on the board in the first inning, added seven more in the sixth, and cruised to a 9-0 victory to claim its second-consecutive Gold Medal in the 10th ISF Junior Men’s World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse.

In 2012, Argentina won the title – the first for a South American country in the history of the championship that started in 1981.

    BACK-TO-BACK, OH SO SWEET

The second one was just as sweet as the first. After Roman Godoy struck out Fraser McLaren to end the game, Argentina’s bench and coaches rushed the players on the field.

They met at the pitchers circle, dancing, hugging, high-fiving, lifting each other up in big bear hugs, and waving to their adoring fans, who made the long trip to Whitehorse to support them.

“This feeling goes so deep I can barely talk,” said manager Julio Gamarci as he wiped away tears of joy. “I want to thank my family and the kids’ families for the support. We trained for 18 months for this. The guys played today like they can.”

And Argentina played its best game of the 10-day tournament.

After going nine innings to defeat the talented Japanese to advance to the Gold Medal game, Argentina came out confident and aggressive.

    SEIZING THE MO

Argentina got rolling in the first inning by stringing together hits by Alan Peker and Teo Migliavacca, a hit batter and an error to take a 2-0 lead. Argentina had seized the momentum and would not let it slip away.

Manager Gamarci made a wise decision in handing the game ball to Roman Godoy. The right-hander came on in relief against Japan over the final two innings in the earlier Bronze Medal game to get the win. He held Japan hitless, walked just one, and struck two.

And he picked up right where he left off.

    GOOD DAY FOR GODOY

New Zealand could only put runners in scoring position twice. Once in the second inning and once in the sixth when Eruera Drage reached third on an infield error and wild pitch.

But Godoy reached back to strike out Bradley Bennett and McLaren to end the threat and the ball game under the seven run, mercy rule.

Godoy gave up just three hits with a walk along with six strikeouts to get the win and improve his tournament record to 6-0 overall, 2-0 in the playoffs. He pitched a total of 33 innings, allowed 13 hits, 8 walks, struck out 58 batters and his ERA was miniscule 0.64.

But as well as Godoy pitched, Argentina was still in danger of New Zealand (9-2) mounting a comeback. That slim 2-0 lead could be overcome with just a couple swings of the bat.

    ARGENTINA STRIKES FOR SEVEN

But that problem was taken care of in the sixth.

Argentina sent 11 batters to the plate and when the smoke cleared, seven runs had scored. Gonzalo Masmu’s double plated one run; Matias Zapata doubled in two more; Teo Migliavacca had a run scoring hit, and Facundo Carril caped it all off with a three-run homer.

Ethan Johnston started for New Zealand, but was lifted in the third inning and replaced by Blake Radford. They each pitched three innings with Johnston (5-1) getting the loss, allowing three runs on five hits with two strikeouts. Bradford (3-1) allowed five runs on five hits, two walks with a strikeout.

For New Zealand this was the second Silver Medal the country has won in the junior men’s world championship. They also took the silver medal in 1997, and finished sixth in 2012.

As back-to-back world champions, Argentina has crafted an incredible 20-1 record. And the South American country will most likely be seeking a third title in 2016 at Midland, Mich.

    FINAL STANDINGS AND MEDALS

1. Argentina, Gold, 9-0, 2-1
2. New Zealand, Silver, 8-1, 1-1
3. Japan, Bronze, 6-3, 1-1
4. Australia
5. United States, Consolation Champion, 5-4, 2-0

NEW ZEALAND BATTING: Callum Elson 1 for 3, Tiwana Aranui 1 for 1, and Vincent Harris 1 for 2.

ARGENTINA BATTING: Alan Peker 1 for 4, run; Teo Migliavacca 3 for 4, run, 2 RBI; Facundo Carril 1 for 4, run, 3 RBI; Roman Godoy RBI, Huemul Mata 1 for 3, run; Gonzalo Masmu 1 for 3, run, RBI; Matias Zapata 2 for 3, run, 2 RBI; Franco Ortellado 1 for 2, run, and Julian Fernandez, run scored.

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